Sue Wewel is grateful for the latest honor that she has received in her distinguished career.
Wewel, the head volleyball coach at Fremont Bergan, will guide the Red squad in the Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Game that is scheduled for 6 Tuesday night at Lincoln North Star.
“I’m really humbled,” Wewel said. “It has always been rewarding to be involved in this sport, but it has been pretty crazy in the last couple of years with the things that have come into my life.”
Wewel guided Bergan to back-to-back state appearances the past two seasons, including the Class D-1 state championship last November. The veteran coach served as an assistant in the 2010 NCA game.
“As far as working with these young ladies, I think it will be a great opportunity not only for me on the coaching end, but also a chance for me to learn from them,” Wewel said “I’m looking forward to providing drills for them to let them play and show their talents in practice.”
The Red squad includes Fremont Tribune All-Area picks Lexie Langley of Bergan, Kelsie Cada of Wahoo Neumann and Illinois recruit Kyla Swanson of Wahoo High. The Reds also include two Midland University recruits: Hope Leimbach of Lincoln Lutheran and Bree Burtwistle of Stanton.
The Blues, coached by Lindsay Peterson of Millard North, include All-Area pick Elly Larson of Wahoo and MU recruit Maddie Wieseler of Hartington Cedar Catholic.
Wewel said she is working closely with Peterson to ensure the all-star experience is a memorable one for the athletes.
“Lindsay and I are doing more of a collaboration between the Red and Blue teams,” Wewel said. “I’ve had an enjoyable time talking with her. There are differences between Class A and Class D, but we all have the same challenges. We all have the same philosophy and passion for the game. It has been cool to collaborate with her.”
Wewel said the two coaches may even run some practices together and do some team-bonding sessions.
“The girls may be on one team or the other, but they are all an elite group of girls,” she said. “I’m anxious to see if the philosophy that Lindsay and I are looking at will be beneficial to them.”
Many of the athletes have faced each other in the heat of battle during the past four seasons.
The Lady Knights lost to Burtwistle and Stanton in the opening round of the C-2 state tournament in 2017. Bergan swept Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family for the D-1 title in 2018. HLHF was led by Wayne State signee Taya Beller, who is also on the Reds.
“There is always a spirit of competition among the players, whether from club or their high school teams,” Wewel said. “But we want them all to have great relationships. Hopefully they will remember this as a way to stay connected to someone who might’ve been an arch-rival, but became a best friend.”
Players report on Monday morning and will go through two workouts. That night, the teams will watch the girls and boys all-star basketball games at North Star. Wewel said the next morning the teams have an interactive workout for coaches in the state before one more light practice.
“It is pretty fast-paced with a lot of stuff going on for those girls during those two days,” she said.
Wewel believes the game should be entertaining. She is just glad to be part of it.
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity,” she said. “This game will showcase some of the most amazing talent we have in the state.”
REDS — Taya Beller, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family. Bree Burtwistle, Stanton. Kelsie Cada, Wahoo Neumann. Jaiden Centeno, Millard West. Jaden Ferguson, Lincoln Southwest. Hayley Fox, St. Paul. Kayla Haynes, Freeman, Whitney Jensen, Grand Island Northwest. Lexie Langley, Fremont Bergan. Mara LeGrand, Papillion-La Vista South. Hope Leimbach, Lincoln Lutheran. Anna McLain, Lincoln Pius. Camryn Opfer, Seward. Kyla Swanson, Wahoo High.
Coaches — Sue Wewel, Bergan. Assistant — Scott Anderson, Freeman.
BLUES — Kacey Allen, Blue Hill. Michaela Bartels, Bennington. Emily Bressman, Omaha Marian. Sami Clarkson, Concordia. Emersen Cyza, Alliance. Emmy Grant, Millard North. Allie Kerns, Millard North. Jadyn Kleinschmidt, BDS. Elly Larson, Wahoo High. Kamryn Schuler, Gretna. Fallon Stutheit, Johnson-Brock. Maddie Wieseler, Hartington Cedar Catholic. Megan Woods, Grand Island Central Catholic. Emma Worthington, Omaha Duchesne.
Coaches — Lindsay Peterson, Millard North. Assistant — Kristi Allen, Blue Hill.